In 2019 HFA initiated the process of having HFA recognised as an exempted organisation for sword ownership in Victoria.
After extensive correspondence with the Victorian Department of Justice, as well as thorough review by both the Department of Justice and the Victorian Police, HFA not only became recognised as an exempt organisation, but moreover the authorities concluded that Historical Fencing should now be broadly considered exempt under the General Exemption for Fencing.
This is a major breakthrough for fencing in Victoria, and means that the barrier for entry for fencing clubs is significantly reduced.
Specifically in correspondence with the DOJ on December 18, 2019, the DOJ stated categorically that:
… we consulted with Victoria Police’s Licensing and Regulation Division and their view was that for the purposes of the Control of Weapons Act 1990, historical fencing should be treated in the same way as other fencing activities. Based on this advice, the department considers that the HFA and affiliated clubs are now considered to be exempted under the General Exemption Order for swords in relation to fencing (see items 12 and 14 in the General Order printed in Govt Gazette G23 on 5 June 2014) and hence there is no need to amend the martial arts exemption order to specifically list the HFA as an exempted group. A copy of the General Exemption for swords is attached for reference.Principal Policy Officer
Police Policy & Governance
Department of Justice & Community Safety
The General Exemption is linked below: